Rockford High School student Sydney Bogard, who recently graduated from the Tech Center’s Criminal Justice program, was one of 22 Michigan students recently honored with the Michigan Breaking Traditions Merit Award. The award is given to students enrolled in career and technical (CTE) programs who have overcome obstacles and stereotypes to achieve success in their education.
Bogard was presented with the award from State Department of Education Director of Career and Technical Education Patty Cantu at a ceremony at the Library of Michigan in Lansing.
In addition to excelling in her program at the Tech Center, Bogard has been interning with the Walker Police Department, and plans to continue there through summer.
“There’s too many good things to be said about Sydney,” said her supervising officer Gil Redzinski, “If we had a position available she wouldn’t even need to interview.”
Bogard believes the most valuable thing she learned is that communication is key to everything; a skill she will take to the Grand Rapids Police Academy and eventually MSU. She plans to work at a federal agency in the future.
When speaking of her time at the Tech Center, Syndey said: “The Kent Career Technical Center has helped me develop the skills that I need for law enforcement. Not only has it helped me gain the skills needed directly for my career field, but it also helped me become successful in other things like communication, public speaking, and leadership.”
Kaylee Kuipers, a student from Sparta High School who graduated from the Tech Center’s Information Technology (IT) program, was also a recognized runner-up for the breaking Traditions Award. She said that women in the IT field are rare and expects to have some gender related difficulties when breaking into her career. Despite this potential challenge, Kuiper will duel enroll with GRCC and FSU to pursue a career in software development.
Kuipers’ goal is a career at Bethesda Softworks, a company who she said has produced most of her favorite video games.
“The Tech Center prepared me by giving me a glimpse of what it is really like in the IT field,” said Kuipers.